Things to Know About Installing an Aftermarket Stereo - Subaru Service Questions in Salt Lake City, UT

Sometimes, the rumble of the engine or a clear radio signal is all the entertainment you need behind the wheel. That said, modern cars are coming with more and more technology, including some really desirable infotainment features that make staying informed, connected and entertained while you drive -- safely! -- easier than ever. You can get some of this technology on your existing car with an aftermarket stereo. Before you begin, here are five things we think you should consider when looking to upgrade the stereo system in your vehicle.

Stack of car audio equipment

5. Know The Major Components Of Your Sound System

The head unit, or what most people think of as the stereo that sits in the dashboard of the vehicle, is only one part of your vehicle's sound system. If you're looking to add new features like a touch display, Apple CarPlay™ or Android Auto®, you'll want the head unit replaced. Also important to overall sound quality is the amplifier. Some vehicles have a head unit/amplifier combo, but many better factory systems have a built-in amplifier to improve sound quality and power. Finally, it's the speakers that actually create the sound, and better speakers will go a long way toward improving sound quality on your commute.

Touchscreen Infotainment System

4. Have The Right Tools

To remove a factory head unit or speaker, that usually means disassembling the vehicle's interior and dashboard panels. That can be tricky, and it's easy to damage those panels in the process without the right tools! You'll also want to have the right tools for mounting the new hardware and wiring it up to the new system. While DIY wiring kits are available for aftermarket stereos, it's not something we'd recommend to a novice.

3. Ensure Everything Fits

Before you pick out that nice, double-height stereo head unit with the gorgeous display, make sure what you select will fit your vehicle. Many modern vehicles have bespoke head units integrated with touchscreen control systems -- but older vehicles typically had a stereo in a standard size. Single-DIN and Double-DIN stereos are all the same depth and width, but double-DIN units are twice as tall and can display more information. Furthermore, you might want that big subwoofer in the trunk for thumping low-end frequencies, but you'll want to make sure you can still close the trunk and carry your cargo once the subwoofer and housing are installed.

Car door with extra speakers

2. Don't Forget The Amplifier

The power of the amplifier puts a cap on how much power you have to drive the speakers. So, you could install the best, most expensive speakers in the world -- they'd go mostly to waste without a sufficient amplifier to power them. When you're looking to upgrade the quality of the sound in your ride, take a holistic approach. You can't always just upgrade one part and get better sound quality instantly. Consult your owner's manual or speak with a knowledgeable technician about your vehicle to find out about your car's factory audio system to begin the upgrade journey.

1. When In Doubt, Go OEM

Not all pro audio shops are created equal, and installing a stereo in your ride can be a costly, complicated process. To get it done right at an affordable cost, we recommend OEM solutions straight from the Subaru factory. Just like premium audio systems that come as options on premium Subaru models, we can install an upgraded audio system on your ride that integrates better than anything you'll find on the aftermarket! Best of all, when you have work carried out by the pros at an authorized Subaru dealership using genuine OEM parts, it's covered by your new Subaru factory warranty or its own limited warranty. For quality at a value that's music to your ears, choose the team at Nate Wade Subaru.